to create an persona that embodies what the brand represents
Recently I stumbled upon a conversation between Jeff Esposito (@jeffespo) and Keith Trivitt (@keithtrivitt) about the State of Brand Marketing in 2010. A point Jeff makes early in the conversation stuck out to me:
A brand is a living and breathing symbol of a company. It goes beyond a logo, catchy tagline or jingle—it is what a company means to its constituents…
…It may sound cliche, but companies really need to be listening and monitoring what is being said about them.
So if a branding is about creating living, breathing symbol of the company, why do so many brands lack a pulse?
The truth is
Today it’s vital for brand representatives to shake “30-second spot” mentality.
Branding through social networks is less about being catchy, and more about having an ongoing dialog.
Look at some of the most conversational brands (Coke, Starbucks, Dell, Oreo) you’ll see that good conversation through social channels translates to high profits.
If a brand has no personality, why would anyone interact with it?
Brands reverse engineer your social media profile.
That’s right, your social media profile is being used against you. Don’t worry though, it’s not in a creepy way.
Social brands are using the interests of their target market to stand out in various feeds.
They’re reverse engineering your information to incorporate it into the personalities design.
Look beyond the words, and more to the cadence and pattern, and you’ll find these brands are mirroring their s.
Sometimes they’re silly…
Most importantly, they always try to keep a pulse on their target market’s interests.
The end result, the brand persona makes the experience very personal
The most successful brands in social media know how to be useful.
They know a fully fleshed personification of brand values makes long term branding seem effortless.
These brands know doing this keeps a core group loyal.
Loyal fans = strong referrals = higher response to promotions = increase in sales = Loyal fans
How do they do it?
Brand personalities are a calculated risk.
- What if the personality doesn’t jive well with the community?
- What if I piss someone off?
- How do I deal with negative feedback?
- How can this possibly turn into more sales?
Are common concerns for any brand using social media as part of a marketing strategy.
Each personality you see above is designed to interact with demographic and psychographic data.
Using the data that the internet has made available, brands create the personification of how they want to be perceived based on their target market.
Average age of users, gender, music, movies, books and other profile interests, praise (and complaints) from service departments, and search patterns are only some elements factored into the development of a brand personality.
Doing this is no small effort and is representation of a synergy between many departments. The end result is the creation of this incredible character that can be stepped into by those who are familiar with how it was created.
Ultimately, this character knows how to
- build trust
- respond to negative feedback gracefully
- accept praise
- spark excitement
- raise awareness
- make sales
- be personable
The character is very authentic, genuinely interested and rarely ever appears to have a form response.
This is why long term branding seems effortless.
The brand consistently stays in tune and adapts to their users. Not the other way around.
Why does this work?
It comes down to basic psychology. Most people are nice and say good things to those they find relate-able. We buy more from those we trust. We also tend to be more forgiving if they can relate.
People are smart and see through bullshit.
Everybody knows there’s at least one real person behind a Facebook page or Twitter account. They know that person isn’t the entire company.
So do those people a favor, develop a personality that lives what your brand represents.
Be their hero. Inspire them, motivate them, make them want to do better.
Do anything but bore them, and they’ll love you forever.